Planned Giving in a Nutshell: A Book Review

Bruce Mack
Former Registry Interim Vice President for University Advancement 
University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, Iowa)

 

 

Planned Giving in a Nutshell, 7th edition, 2019, by Craig Wruck

Summary

In this text, Wruck provides a comprehensive reference book on planned giving and the principles of fund-raising. The text synthesizes other planned giving works and provides resources that will be useful to non-profit administrators and development officers. Wruck’s book is an extensive resource that includes basic terminology, commonly used documents, and proven planned giving methods in an easy to use format. The book is very well organized, using detailed subheadings that will serve as an excellent guide for those looking for specific information and an appendix that includes key documents that those working in the planned giving field may need. There were no omissions or misunderstandings of the concepts, principles, or terminologies associated with planned giving or the development process. This book is a reliable tool for those in the field, as well as professionals who may seek to expand their fundraising knowledge.

Observations & Insights

Wruck’s work is a useful reference book for non-profit administrators and fund-raising professionals. The book is valuable to those looking for a macro view of planned to give and fund-raising. Non-profit administrators will find the sections on fundamental tax laws, integrating planned giving and fundraising, assets used for charitable contributions, and basic planned giving methods. Since these concepts and methodologies are not part of the non-profit administrators’ regular duties and tasks, this information provides a good overview of how to successfully raise private funds. Development officers would find the same four sections helpful and would also benefit from reading advanced planned giving methods and organizational readiness. These sections will equip development officers with more advanced methods in planned giving. Development officers and non-profit administrators alike will be better prepared to manage the fund-raising experiences they encounter with prospective donors’ gift interests and options if they use Wruck’s text. These professionals should consider collaborating while using the text as a guide to positively impact their prospect and philanthropic work.

Key Takeaways

Wruck’s book gives the reader not only a complete picture of planned giving, but also the important steps of the development process in an easy and straight forward manner. The topics, principles, and methodologies Wruck cites should resonate well with development officers and non-profit administrators and help them to be better prepared to assume their roles in the development process. Any successful development officer or non-profit administrator will need to incorporate these methods as they consider the interests of prospective donors and the time frame within which donors would like to work. With this being said, development officers and non-profit administrators need to collaborate both on planned gifts and other charitable gifts for their work to reach its full potential. Thus, all professionals in this field should have a copy of Wruck’s work on their bookshelves to succeed in their fundraising endeavors with prospective donors.

 

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